Daily activities such as walking, rising from a chair, getting into and out bed, the tub, or a car require leg strength. If you feel fatigued after completing some of these basic functional tasks it’s time to intervene, as leg strength is key to remaining independent!
Improve lower body strength with simple leg exercises. The first exercise in the Project Activate series was the Elevator asking you to rise slowly from a chair as if “making stops” at several floors.
This weeks seated Leg Extension exercise can be done while watching TV, talking on the phone, or whenever you’re seated and have room to extend your leg forward! It strengthens the quadriceps muscles in the front of the thigh which can help promote better balance and – like the elevator exercise also helps with daily functional activities.
Strengthening your leg muscles isn’t about fitness! It’s about keeping your options open so you can more easily participate in life – taking a walk with family and friends, climbing stairs, getting into and out of cars, and feel confident in your balance.
*Follow physician advice on exercise
Sit with your back straight against the chair back and feet flat on the floor. Extend your left leg and hold for 8 counts while breathing normally. Return foot to floor. Repeat 4-8 times with left leg. Repeat the full sequence with right leg. To increase difficulty use ankle weights as shown in the diagram, however, do not add weight to any painful movement!
*Note: Extend knee only through pain-free range of motion – breath normally
©Brilliant Aging, 2020 Brilliant Aging provides healthy aging resources and consulting.